Durban — The trial of four men charged with extortion and kidnapping of an 11-year-old boy, was meant to have got under way in the Ntuzuma Magistrate’s Court on Tuesday but has been rolled over to Wednesday.
Three accused as well as the neighbour of the child, alleged to be the mastermind behind the R90 000 ransom, appeared in court, however the lawyer for two of the accused did not pitch.
Lindokuhle Mthokozisi Thabede, 29, Mvelo Khuzwayo, 29, Fisokuhle Mathews Mbatha, 32, and the 40-year-old neighbour of the child are alleged to have kidnapped the boy at gunpoint and kept him at a certain house and demanded R1 million ransom from the child’s mother.
The child’s neighbour can not be named to protect the identity of the child.
The four men are charged with kidnapping of a minor, kidnapping and extortion.
It is alleged that on May 18, 2022, in Umzinyathi in Inanda, the men kidnapped the child just a stone's throw away from his home as he was being driven to school that morning. They also allegedly kidnapped the child’s driver and forced him into the boot of a car at gunpoint.
It is alleged that on that day the accused contacted the child’s mother demanding ransom of R1 million failing which the said child would be killed.
After the child was kidnapped the child’s mother contacted the police and the ransom of R90 0000 was given to the accused under surveillance by the police.
The child was kept in a certain house from the morning of that day until being rescued by police after one of the accused volunteered information about the child’s location. This had been after police intercepted the vehicle the accused had been travelling in.
The ransom money was recovered in the home of one of the accused, the neighbour was the last accused to be arrested after being linked by cellphone evidence.
Thabede, Khuzwayo and Mbatha remain in custody as they were denied, while the neighbour is currently out on bail.
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